Paper: The Hegemonic Impasses of Humanitarianism: Examining the Iran-Saudi Arabia Proxy Conflict in Yemen

Paper details

Paper authors Mariana Ramos Soares Beselga
In panel on Humanitarianism and Inequality
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


Yemen is the scene of a protracted Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict since 2015, that triggered in the biggest humanitarian crisis on the Global South in the early of 2020s, with more than 80% of the population in need support and approximately 4 million internally displaced people. Nevertheless, the variable that most limits humanitarianism in the Yemeni context is the transnational terrorism and ‘new imperialism’ — interventions by state and non-state actors, factions, that put boundaries for the assistance to victims in the confrontation. Considering these security issues, through the Critical Theory approaches, the purpose of this investigation is conceiving how the fragmentation of power in the Yemeni territory, reinforced by the disputes of the States-Empire, affects the unequal distribution of humanitarian aid. This theoretical production relies on the articulation between mixed methods systematizing the construction of case study, such as bibliographical-documentary research aiming to analyse violations of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights by agents involved in the dispute and their geopolitical interest. Moreover, Human development indicators are used with the function of capturing the degrees of inequalities during the years that began the blockades by the Saudi coalition. The primary results show that the sea land and air ports barriers hampered humanitarian actions and aggravated the situation of human security. Besides, terrorist groups seriously affected the Yemeni as women who help build peace and communities that assist internally displaced persons. Thus, this scientific exploration provides advanced dimensions on the geopolitics of humanitarianism studies, which encompasses international terrorism and redistributive asymmetries within Capitalist Hegemony.

‘Yemen can’t wait’, UN and partners warn in seeking $3.85 billion for humanitarian response. UN News. (2021). Retrieved 9 September 2021, from

AHMED, N. YEMENI CIVIL WAR: CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND PROSPECTS. Jurnal Dinamika Pemerintahan, v. 2, n. 2, p. 82-91, 2019.

ALEXANDRE, A. A Geopolitical Analysis of The Horn of Africa. Portuguese Journal of Military Sciences, v. VIII, n. 2, p. 45-72, 2020.

BIELER, A.; MORTON, A. Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis 1. ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

GUIDERO, A.; CARTER HALLWARD, M. Global Responses to Conflict and Crisis in Syria and Yemen. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.



Mariana Ramos Soares Beselga
João Pedro Freitas Gomes